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Building surveyor

A building surveyor is responsible for advising clients about the design, construction, maintenance and repair of buildings. They survey buildings and then report on their findings and make recommendations.

Average salary*

£19000

-

£70000

Typical hours per week

38 - 40

How to become a building surveyor

There are several routes to becoming a building surveyor. You could do a university degree, an apprenticeship, or on-the-job training.

You should explore these routes to becoming a building surveyor to find out which is the right one for you. Although some of these options have certain qualification requirements, many employers are more interested in people who are enthusiastic, willing to learn and can follow instructions. 

You may need a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card to work on a construction site.

University

You could complete an undergraduate degree in a relevant subject that is approved by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, such as:

  • Surveying
  • Construction
  • Civil engineering
  • Building engineering.

To study an undergraduate degree, you’ll usually need 2 - 3 A levels, or equivalent.

If your undergraduate degree is in a subject such as economics, law or maths, you could take an accredited postgraduate qualification in surveying to become a building surveyor. 

> Equivalent entry requirements explained

> Find a university course

> Funding advice

Graduate training scheme

To become a building surveyor, you could complete a postgraduate qualification through a graduate trainee scheme with a construction company, or through a distance learning course with the University College of Estate Management.

College/training provider

You could complete a construction-related qualification to help you on your career path to becoming a building surveyor, such as a level 3 diploma in Construction and the Built Environment or a T Level in Construction Design, Surveying and Planning. 

You’ll need:

  • 3 GCSEs, or equivalent, at grade 4 or above, including English and maths (level 3 course)
  • At least 5 GCSEs, or equivalent, at grade 4 or above, including English and maths (T Level).

> Equivalent entry requirements explained

> Find a course near you

> Funding advice

Apprenticeship

An apprenticeship with a construction company is a good way into the industry. You could complete a chartered surveyor apprenticeship to become a building surveyor.

You’ll need up to 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent to become an apprentice.

Apprenticeships are open to anyone over the age of 16. As an apprentice, you will be fully employed by your company and expected to work a minimum of 30 hours a week. Your time will be split between on-the-job experience and a college or training provider.

> Find an apprenticeship near you

> Guide to apprenticeships

Work

If you have previous experience or qualifications and can find work as a surveying technician, you may be able to do further qualifications on-the-job to become a building surveyor.

Work experience

Work experience is essential to gaining employment within the construction industry. You could gain this at school, or by working weekends and holidays with a company or relative who works as a building surveyor. Potential employers will always be pleased to see work experience listed on your CV.

> Find out more about work experience 

Skills

Additional skills which may benefit anyone considering a job as a building surveyor include: 

  • Knowledge of building and construction
  • Good customer service skills
  • Ability to use your initiative
  • Analytical thinking skills
  • Patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations.

What does a building surveyor do?

As a building surveyor, you will be responsible for surveying properties and buildings, and reporting to clients about the design, construction, maintenance and repair that may be needed.

The role of a building surveyor involves the following duties: 

  • Undertaking on-site property surveys
  • Producing detailed reports and recommendations
  • Identifying defects and advising on remedial works
  • Offering advice on proposed alterations, improvements and extensions
  • Preparing budgets and schedules
  • Advising on environmental and safety issues
  • Meeting with clients and contractors to oversee progress
  • Offering advice in relation to legal and planning issues
  • Working on-site and in an office.


How much could you earn as a building surveyor?

The expected salary for a building surveyor varies as you become more experienced.

  • Newly trained building surveyors can earn £19,000 - £25,000
  • Trained building surveyors with some experience can earn £25,000 - £35,000
  • Senior building surveyors can earn £35,000 - £70,000.*

Hours and salary depend on location, employer and any overtime you may do.

* Salaries have been collected from multiple industry sources and have been updated as of 2019


Jobs

Check out the latest building surveyor vacancies: 

As these are external websites, the number of vacancies related to your preferred role may vary. New opportunities will be posted as they come up.

Career path and progression

As a building surveyor, you could progress into a senior management role. 

You could also become self employed as a consultant, or move into a related field, such as building control.

Progression Opportunities

Explore the progression opportunities below

  • Current role Building surveyor Buildings surveyors are involved in advising & offering recommendations to impro...
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  • Current role Building control surveyor Involved in the planning & construction phases of projects, everyday is differen...
    Read more
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